How to Clean Inside Double Paned Windows


Question: “how can I clean inside a double paned window? Our home is 12 years old with the original tilt-in windows. their is grime, spider web looking material and a film built up on the inside of the double panes. help!”

Double paned windows utilize two pieces of glass that are constructed with an airtight seal between them. This seal is designed to lock the air in so it can act as an insulator. If water or dirt starts to build up between the two panes, it is an indication that this seal has been broken. This break can be as small as a pinhole.

In order to clean between the two pieces of glass, the windows would have to be completely taken apart which would really break the seal. It is not possible to reseal the window without hiring a professional. Unfortunately, this means it’s not possible to clean between the two glass panes without ruining the window. If the seal is broken and dirt/moisture is starting to show, it is best to have the window replaced.


  1. What about those windows which have two panels that can slide open – usually with a screen panel on the outside?

  2. To dry out a frosty look between a double pane window, could you use a hair dryer on cool setting or warm setting, working around the seal if you cannot find the leak in seal? We have several windows that have done this and we cannot afford to replace them. Surely there is some way to help this situation. Would holding a hair dryer on the glass on the outer pane help any, and should we hold the hair dryer against window from outdoors or inside the house?

  3. Peggy,
    Yes, you can vaporize the water inside the glass by using a hair dryer with warm air. You will probably want to heat both sides of the window (alternating). Don’t put the hair dryer directly against the glass; a couple inches away with warm air should be fine.
    For another idea: you could try laying a moisture absorber (there are a few different things that might work – the water snake moisture absorbers for door frames, desiccate packets, or even a homemade desiccate packet) along the seal to prevent moisture from gathering between the panes in the future.
    Source: Chaos Leaves Town – House repairs & fixes… Repairs to Double-paned windows
    Source: Green Energy Efficient Homes – Blow Drying Windows
    Source: eHow – How to Make a Moisture Absorber

  4. I read somewhere to make two tiny holes on the top and bottom, and flush out with alcohol.

  5. Billy Bob says:

    You can try to drill a small hole, about 1/4 inch, into the seal between the glass about 2 inches from the corner edge. Then, on the same section of the seal, drill another 1/4 inch hole 2 inches from the opposite corner’s edge. Now, using a turkey baster or eye dropper or something similar, put about a half cup of denatured alcohol through the hole and between the panes of glass. Slosh the denatured alcohol around, covering all of the surfaces between the glass panes, then drain the alcohol out either of the two holes and let the leftover residue evaporate. Setting the window outside in the sun or using a blow dryer may speed this along. After the denatured alcohol is dried, use silicone caulk to close both of the holes that you drilled. Also, look around the seal to see if you can locate any other leaks that are letting moist air get in between the glass.

  6. Forget the old window, go buy a new one, and this time get a quality one that will last awhile! And keep it clean, really clean, in and out!
    The exercise will do you good, your windows will look a lot better, and you’ll be able to see outside again! If you have tenants, forget it, just clean them yourself! Cleaning is not in the vocabulary of most tenants!

  7. The windows I have in my house are about 12 yrs old. The window in front is a 5′ x 7′ fixed window. I have been told that the only way to fix the fogging is to replace the window, at a cost of $1200. My windows are aluminum frames. I feel like these windows are a rip-off; I do not understand why they can build a new window, but cannot take the old window out, replace the seal and reinstall the window therefore saving the $7 per sq ft for tempered glass.

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